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H1-B Marrying US Citizen - do I need to change/do anything?

H1-B Marrying US Citizen - do I need to change/do anything?

Old Dec 22nd 2005, 4:31 pm
  #1  
As56op
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Posts: n/a
Default H1-B Marrying US Citizen - do I need to change/do anything?

Hi all

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

My Background. I am Brit working in the States under an H1-B visa, with
a GC application about a year and a half into the process. Previously
I've had an F1 (immediatly prior to my H1). My H1-B was just renewed
until June 2008, but I haven't yet left the country to get the visa
stamped in my passport.

Here is my question. I recently have gotten engaged to a US citizen.
Do I apply for a GC with him as my sponsor? Will I have to change my
status from an H1-B to something else - and would that negate my ability
to work in the states? Is my GC application more likely to be approved
this way, and I'm assuming it will probably be faster than my current
application.

Also - we are getting married late summer of 2006. Should I leave the
country now to get my visa stamped in my pass with my current H1-B, so
that we can honeymoon abroad, and then start any applications after we
return, or should I start any paperwork now, and risk not being able to
leave for honeymoon because I'm in the "application to change status"
stage and leaving the country would be abandoning the application...

any input would really be appreciated.

thanks

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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 9:48 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 95
silanone will become famous soon enoughsilanone will become famous soon enough
Default Re: H1-B Marrying US Citizen - do I need to change/do anything?

[QUOTE=As56op]Hi all

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

My Background. I am Brit working in the States under an H1-B visa, with
a GC application about a year and a half into the process. Previously
I've had an F1 (immediatly prior to my H1). My H1-B was just renewed
until June 2008, but I haven't yet left the country to get the visa
stamped in my passport.

Here is my question. I recently have gotten engaged to a US citizen.
Do I apply for a GC with him as my sponsor? Will I have to change my
status from an H1-B to something else - and would that negate my ability
to work in the states? Is my GC application more likely to be approved
this way, and I'm assuming it will probably be faster than my current
application.

>If you already have a GC application in process, I would recommend waiting until you hear back on that. First off, you have to be married before your now fiance can sponsor you. Then, there's no guarantee that the marriage-based application will be faster - sometimes these things can drag on for a long time, as you'll see in several posts on this forum! Besides, if you decide to go the marriage route, you will only be granted a "conditional green card" valid for two years, following which you'll need to file for removal of conditions. Whereas if your employment based GC comes through, then it will not have any conditions on it and be valid for the full 10 years.

If, however, you happen to lose your job (and as a result your employer's GC sponsorship), then you can always file a marriage based I-485/130. When this application is filed, you can also file an I-765 for a work permit, which will allow you to work until a decision is made on the I-485/130.

Also - we are getting married late summer of 2006. Should I leave the
country now to get my visa stamped in my pass with my current H1-B, so
that we can honeymoon abroad, and then start any applications after we
return, or should I start any paperwork now, and risk not being able to
leave for honeymoon because I'm in the "application to change status"
stage and leaving the country would be abandoning the application...

> So long as you retain your H-1B status, you can enter and leave the country as you like provided you have a valid visa stamp in your passport. As I said before you can't really "start any paperwork" until you are actually married.
silanone is offline  
Old Dec 29th 2005, 1:58 am
  #3  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 39
kwisking will become famous soon enough
Default Re: H1-B Marrying US Citizen - do I need to change/do anything?

Since you are already planning for a wedding in summer 2006 and as stated above you can't file anything till after the wedding. I would wait until either after the Honeymoon or if you get laid off/change jobs for any reason.

If you change jobs it might be easiest to get married sooner at the local courthouse and file for an EAD. It takes about 3 to 4 months for an EAD to be processed. From my experience thats faster then a new H-1 for a new employer but you may want to check all the processing dates first.

If you don't change jobs and get married in the summer of 2006 as planned. You can travel for your honeymoon on your H-1. When you get back talk to the Lawyer or whoever is helping you file for your greencard through your job and see how far along it is. If you are close to the end with that application anyway I would just go that route. If it turns out the lawyer says you still have a long wait. Then I would start a petition for a green card through marriage.

I was in the same situation about 3 years ago, but the company I was working for decide to sell my division so I got married then and applied for a GC through marriage. I did this mainly because there was no guarantee that the new company would keep me and having a GC can make looking for a new job easier.

Good Luck
[QUOTE=silanone]
Originally Posted by As56op
Hi all

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

My Background. I am Brit working in the States under an H1-B visa, with
a GC application about a year and a half into the process. Previously
I've had an F1 (immediatly prior to my H1). My H1-B was just renewed
until June 2008, but I haven't yet left the country to get the visa
stamped in my passport.

Here is my question. I recently have gotten engaged to a US citizen.
Do I apply for a GC with him as my sponsor? Will I have to change my
status from an H1-B to something else - and would that negate my ability
to work in the states? Is my GC application more likely to be approved
this way, and I'm assuming it will probably be faster than my current
application.

>If you already have a GC application in process, I would recommend waiting until you hear back on that. First off, you have to be married before your now fiance can sponsor you. Then, there's no guarantee that the marriage-based application will be faster - sometimes these things can drag on for a long time, as you'll see in several posts on this forum! Besides, if you decide to go the marriage route, you will only be granted a "conditional green card" valid for two years, following which you'll need to file for removal of conditions. Whereas if your employment based GC comes through, then it will not have any conditions on it and be valid for the full 10 years.

If, however, you happen to lose your job (and as a result your employer's GC sponsorship), then you can always file a marriage based I-485/130. When this application is filed, you can also file an I-765 for a work permit, which will allow you to work until a decision is made on the I-485/130.

Also - we are getting married late summer of 2006. Should I leave the
country now to get my visa stamped in my pass with my current H1-B, so
that we can honeymoon abroad, and then start any applications after we
return, or should I start any paperwork now, and risk not being able to
leave for honeymoon because I'm in the "application to change status"
stage and leaving the country would be abandoning the application...

> So long as you retain your H-1B status, you can enter and leave the country as you like provided you have a valid visa stamp in your passport. As I said before you can't really "start any paperwork" until you are actually married.
kwisking is offline  

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